Checking Out the New Fish Counter at The Brooklyn Kitchen
When The Meat Hook left the back of The Brooklyn Kitchen earlier this year, the owners, Harry Rosenblum and Taylor Erkkinen, decided on a little redesign to fill up the vacated space. They moved a few shelves around, installed a new butcher counter and along with it, a custom-made fish counter. As long-term area residents—The Brooklyn Kitchen itself developed out of a lack of kitchen supply stores in Greenpoint/Williamsburg—they remember the days of illicit sidewalk fishmongers and know that, besides Greenpoint Fish & Lobster, there are now no places to get local, sustainable fish while also supporting a local business. Now, The Brooklyn Kitchen thoroughly succeeds in its goal of being a one-stop-shop for all your kitchen needs.
Keeping in line with their values, Harry and Taylor are working with small family-owned suppliers like Clinton Hill’s Sea to Table in order to stock a variety of fresh and local fish at an affordable price. Most people don’t realize that, just like produce, fish have “seasons” that depend on their migratory patterns and mating habits, and fishing “in season” helps keep our open-water fisheries sustainable. Modern life and technology allow for some farmed fishing, which can at times mean healthier fish, like with striped bass. Striped bass fished in open water is larger than farmed, but also contains more mercury from water pollution. You will, of course, see your favorite fish in the case. There’s farmed rainbow trout from upstate New York; scallops fresh from New Jersey docks—brought here by the Williamsburg-residing twins Jesse and Kirk Sullivan; plus Atlantic and Pacific salmon. Alaskan sockeye salmon caught by Iliamna Fish Company should be coming in soon (one of Iliamna’s owners, Christopher Nicolson, is also the winemaker at Red Hook Winery). To further entice you, the sockeye will be available as steaks and fillets.
There are oysters from Rhode Island’s Walrus & Carpenter, who will also soon be offering dried seaweed; mussels from Prince Edward Island; and end-of-season Gulf shrimp from Florida. Working with a few suppliers also means that Brooklyn Kitchen will bring in unusual fish—they recently had skate wings and dogfish—and are able to handle any special requests you might have. And to give you an idea of how to incorporate fish into your life, Taylor sent us this recipe for Seared Scallops:
Seared Scallops over Kohlrabi, Carrots, and Tangerine Lace
4 medium kohlrabi, julienned on mandoline
2 cups kohlrabi greens, chiffonade
4 medium carrots, julienned on mandoline
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup ponzu (we suggest Yamaki Organic Yuzu Ponzu)
3-4 tbsp grapeseed oil
16 sea scallops, abductor muscle removed and gently pat dry with a paper towel
Drizzle of good-quality olive oil
1 cup tangerine lace lettuce
1. Combine the kohlrabi, greens and carrots in a medium mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss with yuzu ponzu, taste and adjust seasoning, and let sit while you cook the scallops.
2. Place a stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and add a thin layer of grapeseed oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, season the scallops with kosher salt and add to the pan (be sure not to overcrowd the pan; cook scallops in two batches if necessary); add the scallops in a clockwise order to be able to flip them in the same order in which they were added. Cook undisturbed until golden on one side, about 1-1½ minutes, then gently flip with a fish or mini offset spatula and let cook for another 30-60 seconds until a paring knife inserted into the scallops comes out warm. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to blot.
3. Plate the salad and top with the seared scallops. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the tangerine lace. Enjoy!
The Brooklyn Kitchen is located at 100 Frost Street. They are open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 8pm; Sunday, 11am – 7pm.